Well-known Telugu cine comedian and main character in the TV serial “Amrutham”, Gundu Hanumantha Rao passed away in the wee hours of Monday here. He was 61.
Hanumantha Rao was ailing for some time with kidney problem and passed away at his residence in SR Nagar at 3 am, according to family sources. He is survived by his son. His wife had passed away in 2010. The actor was facing financial crisis, following which the State government sanctioned Rs 5 lakh from Chief Minister Relief Fund and megastar Chiranjeevi also volunteered to help with his treatment expenses.
Born in Vijayawada on October 10, 1956 in a middle class family, Hanumantha Rao dabbled with the theatre from a young age. The first role he essayed on stage was in Ravana Brahma in Vijayawada. He got a big break when movie maker Jandhyala offered him a role in Aaha Na Pellanta where he played a groom’s father, who is hard of hearing. But it was his roles in TV serials like Amrutam which earned him acclaim and awards including three Nandi awards.
He acted in films like Pellaniki Premalekha Priyuraliki Subhalekha, Rajendrudu Gajendrudu, Mayalodu, Jodi No. 1, Nenu Seetamahalakshmi, Kedi No.1, Apparao Driving School, Kalyanam, Original, Neramu Siksha, High School, Colors, Panchamukhi, Sri Sai Sankalpam, Mano Balam among many others. He acted in over 400 movies.
Many film and TV actors, including Brahmanandam, Sivaji Raja, Goutham Raju, Mohan Babu, Balayya turned up at his residence and paid their last respects. Several young actors took to Twitter as well to express their grief. Speaking after paying tributes, weeping Brahmanandam recalled his association with Hanumantha Rao. Stating that the late actor visited his residence recently, Brahmananda said he was not able to believe his sudden death. He remembered that Hanumantha Rao used to call him “Bhava” (brother-in-law) with affection. (NSS)